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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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under conditions much more difficult "than those under
which Shakespeare wrote, because he is chained to the
factual truth of everything. According to him, if the
life of an historical Hamlet had actually involved the
very incidents which Shakespeare described, then Shakes-
peare's Hamlet would be the ideal manner in which to
reproduce the story for a future generation. Professor *
Trevelyan makes a point which constitutes a valid claim
for the kind of literature that is history, especially as the
history which is "resurrection" addresses itself not
merely to the specialist but to every man. He demands
"not merely 'the accumulation and interpretation of
facts, but also the exposition of these facts and opinions
in their/#// e factional and intellectual value to a wide public
by the difficult art of literature ". We may see a foreign
statesman in the gravest apprehension or a foreign
government in a terrible predicament, but we may make
serious misjudgments because we fail to feel the Situation
and to measure it in terms of emotional stress. Histor-
ians may speak to one another in shorthand, or may often
feel or understand more things than they trouble to
make explicit. Literary activity of a high order is
necessary if it is ever important nqt merely to reconstruct
a high moment of history, but to indicate the " feel" of
it and to " put it across ".


Unfortunately, the two kinds of history which I have
mentioned—the one which seeks to resurrect the past